Category Archives: sports

Selke Field

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

I went to a youth soccer game in St Cloud, and was surprised to find the field behind a 20″ granite wall. The entrances were all gated with wrought iron, leaving the field looking like it was inside the grounds of an old prison.

In addition to the youth soccer fields, Selke Field is also home to the SCSU Husky softball team.

The land was donated to St Cloud State University in 1931, and it became home to the university’s football team. Construction was started on the 35,000 foot wall around the 17 acres in 1934, as a WPA program during the Great Depression. The pink granite is called “reformatory pink”, because it was quarried from inside the St Cloud prison. Five masons spent three years building the granite wall, block by block.

At its height, Selke Field held the football stadium, a baseball diamond, four softball fields, a dozen tennis courts, a cinder track, practice golf tee, an archery range and badminton.

After World War II, with the success of the GI Bill, housing was needed for the veterans attending SCSU. As many as 25 barracks were built at one end of the field to meet that need.


Duluth takes on Denver in Chicago

The Frozen Trifecta was back at the United Center on Saturday for some college hockey. The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs were facing the Denver University Pioneers for the Division 1 Championship. For the first time since the playoff selection went to the 16 team format, we had the #1 ranked team taking on the 2nd ranked team. Denver was the top seed, and they looked like it against Notre Dame in the semi-finals. Duluth would have their hands full.

Denver continued where it left off against the Irish, and really dominated play to start the first period. Duluth settled down around the 10 minute mark, and the game was scoreless after one.

Then things became interesting. Jarid Lukosevicius scored for the Pioneers at the 4:44 mark of period two. The announcer was still calling out who had assists on the goal, when Lukosevicius scored again, just 16 seconds later. Denver could smell blood, and Duluth was in chaos, when the official called a television timeout, and the Bulldogs were able to regroup.
Alex Iafallo, the hero from Thursday night, scored a power play goal for UMD, to make the score 2-1. Lukosevicius, out to prove that the third time really is a charmer, scored his third tally of the night. Lukosevicius’ hat trick happened over a span of 7 minutes, 39 seconds. The last time there was a hat trick in the championship game was in 1993, when the Denver head coach, Jim Montgomery, scored one for Maine against Lake Superior State.

The third period began with Duluth down 3-1, and they came out on fire. Much of the play was in the Denver zone, and the Bulldogs were flying to the puck. Riley Tufte finally put one behind Pionner goalie Tanner Jaillet. UMD suddenly had new life, and they stepped up the pressure even more. Duluth outshot Denver in the third period 17-3. But Jaillet, who had just won the Mike Richter Award as the Nation’s top college goal tender, held firm. Denver would keep that one goal lead, after a wild third period, to earn their 8th National Championship in hockey.


DU players celebrate on the ice

Jaillet would make 38 saves for Denver, and Hunter Miska would have 25 for Duluth.
Announced attendance was 19,783.

The Frozen Four moves to St Paul, MN for the 2018 championship.


United Center

Chicago, Illinois


Walking up to the United Center in Chicago. We have never parked this close to the arena before.

The Frozen Four moved to Chicago for 2017, and the Frozen Foursome was down to two of its regular members, and their ringleader unable to make the trip. All of this meant that we were getting by as the Frozen Trifecta.


Harvard & UMD during warmups

Harvard was to take on the University of Minnesota Duluth in the first game. Both teams had been number one seeds in their regional the week before.


Game One Introductions

Harvard would score first on a power play goal by Tyler Moy in the first period. Duluth had looked very good up to that point with several scoring chances behind an excellent forecheck, but it was the Crimson that would draw first blood.
The Bulldogs would tie things up 3-1/2 minutes later on a goal by Joey Anderson.
The second period was scoreless, and the game remained tied until late in the third. Duluth’s Willie Raskob placed a beautiful pass onto Alex Iafallo’ stick, and Iafallo slipped the puck between Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen’s legs with 26.6 seconds remaining in the game, for a 2-1 UND lead.
UMD looked to be in great shape, but then they iced the puck. With the face-off deep in Duluth’s end, the Crimson furiously attacked the net, with a shot hitting the pipe, and another hitting the crossbar. Duluth would hang on to win, sending them into Saturday’s championship game.
Madsen had 36 saves for Harvard, and Hunter Miska had 39 for Duluth.


Denver and Notre Dame introductions

The University of Denver Pioneers would face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in game two. It was obvious early, that the Irish would have their hands full. Denver totally dominated play in all three periods and would go on to a 6-1 win.
Cal Petersen of Notre Dame would have 36 saves on the night, and Tanner Jaillet of Denver would save 16 of the 17 shots he faced.

Announced attendance was 19,626.


Target Center

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Target Center exterior

My cousin’s two boys were awarded free tickets to the Target Center to watch a Timberwolves basketball game for getting on the “A” Honor Roll. They needed two “adults” to go with them, and somehow I was picked to attend, as well as my Uncle.

Target Center

The New Orleans Pelicans were in town on the day that they picked to go. It was also Crunch’s birthday, the mascot of the Timberwolves. Which added to the festivities.

Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns, Photo credit: Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns had a great game, and put on a show in the first half, but he found himself in foul trouble fairly early in the second half. Towns ended up with 36 points, and 8 rebounds.
Ricky Rubio also played well, scoring 15 and dishing out 12 assists.
The Wolves led at halftime, but their bench left a lot to be desired. When the starters rested or were on the bench due to foul trouble, the Pelicans came back, and led much of the second half. New Orleans would go onto a 122-106 win.


Ewigleben Ice Arena

Big Rapids, Michigan

Ferris State Bulldogs

After the cavernous Schott of Ohio State, I was in for a 180 degree turn of events when I walked into the home of the Ferris State University Bulldogs. In a word, the rink is intimate.

Bulldogs are in the house

Ewigleben officially seats 2493. It has a very low ceiling, and one side of the rink has the two benches and the two penalty boxes between the benches. There are no seats on that side. A very unique arena.

Opening face-off
Opening face-off

My seat was in the front row, which I rarely like to do, but in this case, I certainly got immersed into the Bulldog cult, so it was probably worth it. I did have a great view of the ice.

The Dawg Pound
The student section, or “The Dawg Pound”

As for the game: The Bowling Green Falcons were in town for game one of a two game series. The first period play was fast, and we saw some very good hockey. Tyler Andrew scored the only goal in the period for the Bulldogs, assisted by Rob Rutkowski and Zach Szajner. I thought Rutkowski had a good overall game on defense.
Tyler Spezia evened things up with a nice goal in the second for Bowling Green. Ferris answered 8 minutes later when Gerald Mayhew buried a pass by Corey Mackin. Mackin is a fun player to watch; he was all over the ice tonight.
Ferris seemingly had the game in control, until they took a 5 minute major for checking from behind. Bowling Green tied things up with a minute left in the penalty.

I had several young boys directly behind me, and at one point, when a Ferris player missed a wide open net, one of the boys, who was around 7 or 8, cried out in exasperation, “OH NUGGETS!” I damn near died laughing, which embarrassed the kid, but I couldn’t help it. Afterwards, when Ferris committed an offsides, or missed a pass, I would say “Nuggets!”, which caused the girl next to me to laugh hysterically. Her boyfriend, oddly enough, did not find me amusing.

The game went into overtime, and the Falcons ended the evening 34 seconds into the extra period on a score by Mark Friedman. A heartbreaking loss for Ferris State. No one had the heart to yell nuggets.

Chris Nell made 21 saves in the win; Justin Kapelmaster had 32 in the loss. The attendance was 1813.

Zamboni

Ewigleben is a tough arena to get any pictures of. I did not bring the Widelux, which really would have come in handy. I did climb up to the higher rows in between periods, just to get an idea of the rink’s layout. It is different, but provides a cool hockey experience.


US Bank Stadium

Minnesota State High School All Star Game

US Bank Stadium exterior

During my visit to Minnesota, I attended the State’s High School All Star Football game at the new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

US Bank Stadium interior

My cousin’s daughter was cheering for one of the squads, which allowed us all a wonderful reason to check out the new stadium. I attended many games at Met Stadium and the Metrodome in my youth, but this was my first time at US Bank. The place is huge, absolutely huge. The Metrodome could easily fit inside of US Bank.

First impression: A well designed football stadium, with a truly unique (for now) roof. The clear roof panels make you feel as if you are sitting outside, and I love the large, clear doors at the end of the building. Even though it was a nice day, the large doors were not open. What a great place to watch the Vikings beat Green Bay.

ASG half time

North played South in the game. I was with a group of North supporters, and we were sitting in the middle of a group of Elk River fans. Elk River won the state title this year. As it turns out, historic ties won out, and I cheered for the South team.
North scored first on a 7 yard touchdown pass from QB Jaran Roste of Alexandria to WR Michael Wandmaker of Andover.
The defensive game continued until the fourth quarter when South finally struck back. RB Christopher Bain of Grand Meadow scored on a 1 yard run, and OL Eric Wilson of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, lined up as fullback and converted the two-point attempt.
South would go on to win 15-7.


It’s Axe Week

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